New and Notable Books (January 2015)

I am in the enjoyable position of receiving copies of most of the latest and greatest Christian books, and with a new year comes a whole new batch of books that qualify as notable. Here are a few of the highlights that have shown up in my mailbox recently.

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Doriani1 Peter by Daniel Doriani. I’ve often said that the Reformed Expository Commentaries are just about my favorite commentary set. They are always well-written, theologically-deep, and doctrinally-pure—a killer combination. Because they are based on sermons, they are useful for Bible study, sermon preparation or personal devotions. 1 Peter has been written by Daniel Doriani, a regular contributor to the series, and D.A. Carson says this about it: “Among the many expositions of 1 Peter, this REC volume stands out. It is exemplary in its careful handling of the text, theological robustness, and fresh writing. Unsurprisingly from the author of Putting the Truth to Work, which is the best treatment available on application, this exposition of 1 Peter is loaded with the best kind of application: faithful to the text, reflective, never forced, often telling.” (Learn more or buy it at Westminster Books or Amazon)

EcclesiastesEcclesiastes by Douglas Sean O’Donnell. 1 Peter is not the only new entry in the Reformed Expository Series. Douglas Sean O’Donnell has prepared the volume on Ecclesiastes and it is shipping now as well. Derek Thomas provides this endorsement: “Ecclesiastes is a book for our time: its relentless examination of the source of meaning and relevance finds echoes in every facet of contemporary life and its restless pursuit of happiness. Douglas Sean O’Donnell’s treatment of Ecclesiastes is both fresh and thorough. … A wonderful achivement.” I can hardly wait to read it! (Learn more or buy it at Westminster Books or Amazon)

MinglingThe Mingling of Souls: God’s Design for Love, Marriage, Sex, and Redemption by Matt Chandler. Matt Chandler has teamed up with Jared Wilson on several books and their partnership continues in this one, which is based on Chandler’s sermons on Song of Solomon. Here is what the publisher says about it: “The Song of Solomon offers strikingly candid—and timeless—insights on romance, dating, marriage, and sex. We need it. Because emotions rise and fall with a single glance, touch, kiss, or word. And we are inundated with songs, movies, and advice that contradicts God’s design for love and intimacy. Matt Chandler helps navigate these issues for both singles and marrieds by revealing the process Solomon himself followed: Attraction, Courtship, Marriage … even Arguing. The Mingling of Souls will forever change how you view and approach love.” (Learn more or buy it at Amazon)

Hand in HandHand in Hand: The Beauty of God’s Sovereignty and Meaningful Human Choice by Randy Alcorn. Few authors have left a more indelible imprint on my life than Randy Alcorn, so I am looking forward to diving into this new book which examines the tension between God’s sovereignty and human choice. “In Hand in Hand, Randy Alcorn says that the traditional approach to this debate has often diminished our trust in God and his purposes. Instead of making a one-sided argument from select verses, Alcorn examines the question in light of all Scripture. By exploring what the whole Bible says about divine sovereignty and human choice, hand in Hand helps us carefully and honestly examine the different views on this issue; gain a deeper understanding of God; appreciate God’s design in providing us the freedom of meaningful choice; learn how to communicate about the issue in clear and compassionate ways,” and more. (Learn more or buy it at Amazon)

PsalmsThe Book of Psalms by Nancy deClaisse-Walford, Rolf Jacobson & Beth LeNeel Tanner. A new volume in the venerable New International Commentary on the Old Testament series always qualifies as noteworthy, and especially when it takes on a book as significant as Psalms. In this 1,000-page volume the three co-authors provide commentary on all 150 psalms. I am certainly not qualified to evaluate the quality of their work, so while we wait for the reviews we will simply consider it new and noteworthy. (Learn more or buy it at Westminster Books or Amazon)